I used Mayawalk for a number of reasons. They have a presence in their community, they believe in giving back, their price was competitive with the other tour companies in San Ignacio, and I got a good vibe from all the people I talked to at Mayawalk (Jimmy, Aaron, and Andrew). Our tour was scheduled to leave at 8:30, but we didn't end up leaving until closer to 9am because a couple of other people on the tour were running late. I know someone else recently reviewed this tour and complained about this, but I thought it was great! It shows the hospitality of the people in San Ignacio, and Belize in general. In addition, it gave me a little more time to get to know the guide and the other people on the tour, which I found to be a good thing.
On the way from San Ignacio to head to the cave, we made two stops. One at the home of a local woman who prepared the food we were going to eat for lunch (so, a portion of the money spent on the tour goes into her pocket to help her raise her family), and another at a convenient store a few miles from the cave so we could pick up last minute things (water, snacks, etc.).
Once at the cave, we hiked through the jungle for just under an hour seeing all kinds of animal and plant life, and our guide, Aaron Juan, did a great job of showing us the treasures of the tropics. The lunch provided for us was great! Then, after lunch we entered the cave. I've been in caves before, and I love them all, but this one especially was one not to be missed. Aaron knew a ton of the history of the Mayan people, and he had a deep respect and understanding of their culture and their way of life. He did an excellent job of helping a bunch of city-dwelling Americans understand how the Maya used the cave, what they might have experienced in the cave, and the value of this magical place to this historic civilization. He managed to transport us back in time a couple thousand years with his presentation and knowledge. In addition to the history, he pointed out a number of really beautiful crystal formations, insects, and of course bats. The most impressive part of the tour, though, was the incredible preservation of the artifacts and sacrificed individuals. It was a truly memorable experience. By the end of the trip, I felt like I'd made 4 new friends and had a much different and more complete understanding of the Maya civilization.
I've scanned a number of other reviews on here, and I really don't know what other people are talking about.
The cost: The tour was about US$80 or US$85. We left San Ignacio around 9am and didn't return until after 6pm. We spent about an hour hiking in to the cave entrance, about 4 hours in the cave, and about 40 minutes hiking out. The rest of the time was spent driving and eating lunch, etc. In other words, we spent almost 6 HOURS being guided through the jungle and the cave. I think that US$80 is a very reasonable price for a full-day tour to a place that has restricted access, and so much historical and cultural value. In addition, there were only 4 of us on the tour (plus the guide)... I can't think of any tour I've been on that had such a small group!
The timing: Yeah, our tour started a bit later than it was supposed to, and in our case it was because we were waiting for a couple that was running a bit late due to their ride to San Ignacio from Dangriga. But, even it we had been running late for another reason, so what? Welcome to Belize! You're on vacation! Relax, and enjoy yourself. Things in much of Belize move at a slower pace than they do in most of America... it's just something that you need to get used to.
We had no mechanical problems, no sick guide, and no crowds in the cave. In every area that we stopped to look at something significant, we were the only group there. We did cross paths with a few other groups in the cave, but we were never in a "crowd" as some others have described.